A calico cat named Willow that was found in New York five years after it wandered off from a Colorado home five years ago just wanted to spend one of its nine lives in New York, Mayor Bloomberg said.
"I think what it does show is that everybody in the end wants to come and live in New York. Cats reputedly have nine lives and he clearly wanted to spend at least one of them here in New York City," Bloomberg told reporters.
The famous kitty, who had a microchip implanted when she as a kitten, is set to be reunited with her long-ago owners, who live in Boulder.
Jamie Squires and her husband, Chris, were "shocked and astounded" when they got a call Saturday from Animal Care & Control, which runs New York City's animal rescue and shelter system.
Willow had been found on East 20th Street by a man who took her to a shelter.
"My husband said, 'Don't say anything to the kids yet. We have to make sure,'" Squires said. "But then we saw the picture, and it was Willow. It's been so long."
Julie Bank, executive director of Animal Care & Control, which handles the city's animal rescues and shelters, says Willow is healthy and probably has not been living on the streets for very long.
“No one knows how the cat made her way from Colorado to New York City, but we are happy she is safe and will soon be back with her owners,” said Bank. “This miracle story underscores the importance of having some sort of identification on your pet and the effectiveness of a microchip.”
Animal Care & Control says all animals are scanned for a microchip when they enter an ACC shelter.
The Squires said Willow escaped in late 2006 or early 2007 when contractors left a door open during a home renovation.